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Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Due to last year’s upheaval in escort advertising, the number of dumb, no-useful-information texts I receive has expanded dramatically; some of them are creepy and abusive, while others are just ridiculous time-wasters.  But since yesterday was the beginning of carnival season, I thought it might amuse y’all to see some of the recent replies I’ve given to such texts.  I’m presenting them without direct context, but I’m sure you can figure out what kind of question or statement many of these were in reply to.  Please understand that none of these guys made even the most minimal good-faith effort to approach me as one would approach a professional whose services one wished to engage, and also that the ones containing a time reference were answered the following morning.

 

Strange, but this does not look like screening information. It’s not your name, it’s not your references, it’s not your email address, it’s not your occupation. So I’m not sure what it’s doing there.

If you can’t be bothered to read the website, I can’t be bothered to see you.

Yes, of course it’s me. Who else would it be?

Do you see a price for half an hour on my website?

Try rubbing it on your own.

The answer is going to keep being “no”.

Why have you sent me a picture of a dead fish?

I suggest you learn some manners before attempting to contact women.

Don’t even bother looking at my website, because I’m not going to see you.

Wow, you’re even stupider than I had at first imagined.

Then obviously you know how to proceed.

Not until you learn to read.

If you have to ask that question, this is probably not the pastime for you.

In other words, you’re a time-waster and wanted to get phone time with me without paying.

You should expect that I’m an escort, as advertised.

The idea that there are many “just like me” out there is exactly the reason I’m not seeing you.

I make plenty of money without dealing with morons like you.

If you won’t follow my simple requests when you’re trying to get to see me, there’s no way you will respect my boundaries in person.

You’re kidding, right?

You are clearly a hasty idiot and I don’t see hasty idiots.

Do you honestly think cops can’t say that?

I suggest you go watch some porn instead.

“What’s up” is all on my website.

If that is the first question you ask a lady, I have no interest in seeing you.

Sorry, I have no time for rude assholes who think that they can circumvent my procedures.

I do not “hang out”, and if I did it certainly wouldn’t be at 5:30 in the morning.

Go away. Get your wanking material somewhere else.

You don’t get to answer my question with a question.

I’m never “free”, and certainly not at 3:30 in the morning.

The predictability of morons like you is fascinating.

Dude, seriously? Do you think I don’t have your number saved? Get lost.

Are you seriously asking me that question?

You sound like you are trying to pick up some amateur at a bar.

I don’t care what you look like or how hard you are.

You did not answer my question. That does not speak well of you.

I should think my answer is self-evident.

None of this is information that I need for screening. Please consult my website.

Sure, you can send me 80 via cash app and I will insult you for being a stupid cheapskate.

Yes, of course I’m a whore. But you already knew that and so did I, so what was the point of saying it, Captain Obvious?

What is that, your age or your IQ?

I told you to get lost. Scram. Vamoose. Go play with yourself.

I’m not even going to ask you why you texted me in the first place, because I’m sure the answer will be stupid.

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The carpet was just pulled out underneath us.  –  Tammy Marie Kruwell

Oops

300 texts does not equate to 300 men, since many guys send a barrage:

A Michigan woman says hundreds of men solicited her for sex within just a couple days…because her number ended up on an escort [advertising] website…Her phone holds nearly 300 texts and some voicemails from men looking for attention.  Susan said she didn’t even know most of the sexual lingo in the texts…one of the texts referenced a website called “Skip the Games”…the family emailed the site administrator numerous times and asked them to take the number down.  They had no success [until they copied a TV station in]…on an email…

First They Came for the Hookers… 

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you from the lies of cops and prudes:

The Providence [Rhode Island] Board of Licenses revoked the [Foxy Lady] strip club’s licenses [less than a week before Christmas because] Providence Police arrested three dancers at the club last week [for refusing to give pigs sex]…at least 200…employees are suddenly out of work…Mayor Jorge Elorza [slandered] the club [claiming it was] running a “full-on prostitution ring”.  The attorney for the club, Fausto Anguilla, has [pointed out that] police…never proved that sex was occurring inside the club’s private rooms.  Several dancers…[told reporters] management at the club is strict with its no-prostitution rules, and cut ties with dancers who were caught having sex in the private rooms…

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

A [privately-owned prison for] juvenile [prisoners]…in northern Minnesota is accused of failing to stop the sexual abuse of minors in its care, according to two federal lawsuits…[which] detail two separate [coercive] sexual relationships between teenage girls and employees dating back to 2014, both resulting in criminal convictions…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#412) 

New items of this type appear under the heading “Permanent Record”:

“LEGAL ‘NYMPH’,” blared the front page of [the December 13thToronto Sun. “Law student faces good character hearing over double life as an escort.”  Except — as the story about prospective lawyer Nadia Guo made clear near its top — what the headline described was not the case at all…No one complained about her escort job.  Instead, the complaints made to the Law Society of Ontario concerned Guo’s conduct as an articling student in the latter half of 2015…the piece by courts reporter Sam Pazzano…[also revealed her stage name], “Dawn Lee”…the Sun ran a correction to its front-page headline [the next day]…But Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno ran her own piece …that led with Guo’s sex work, printed her work name in its first sentence, and expressed apparent surprise and disappointment that the Law Society chose not to [persecute] her…for [doing work to pay for school]…

Traffic Jam (#680)

Looks like Minnesota’s second attempt to imprison a bunch of migrants as “sex traffickers” fared better than its first:

A federal jury in St. Paul has convicted all five people charged with conspiring to traffic hundreds of Thai women for sex…nearly three dozen other [people were charged]…all but five [made] plea…[bargains]…Prosecutors said victims, some of whom testified during the trial, were misled as to how much they truly owed and were threatened if they tried to leave the business…U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald described the case as one of the largest trafficking networks ever dismantled…

I’d be a lot more inclined to believe there was serious exploitation here if we hadn’t heard all this before, especially the practically-impossible claims of client numbers.  Remember, migrant sex workers are far less likely to be deported if the agree to sing the state’s song, so there’s no real way to know how much of this is true and how much hype.

The Mote and the Beam (#776)

Just in case you though FOSTA was as bad as it would get:

…Congress…authorized a [bipartisan] national [crusade to] arrest…sex [workers’ clients] and approved the use of secret wiretaps in misdemeanor prostitution cases…as part of the massive “Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act“…through a secret vote of the sort civil libertarians have long opposed…based on the false idea that customers of…adult sex workers [magically] drive demand for minors.  All state and local cops, prosecutors, and judges are to be [encouraged]…to [steal the] asset[s of sex workers and clients]…In addition, Congress “clarif[ies] that commercial sexual exploitation is a form of gender-based violence,” whatever that means…The House…passed the bill via “voice vote,” a process under which there’s neither a record of how members voted, whether they were present for a vote, nor how many total members actually voted…One provision essentially creates a new federal crime initiative by directing resources and money to fight “sextortion”…

Lack of Evidence (#859) 

If sex work weren’t illegal laws like this would be easily overturned:

Jessica, a 23-year-old transgender woman living in Queens…[was arrested on] July 8…and charged…with “loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution act”…[the “evidence” cops listed was that she] was wearing “a mini skirt and a blouse which showed cleavage”…Loitering arrests increased more than 180 percent between January and October…last year…More than half of the…arrests occurred in Queens, where attorneys say they’re concentrated in…immigrant-heavy neighborhoods…This increase in loitering arrests follows a class action lawsuit backed by the Legal Aid Society of New York that challenges the constitutionality of New York’s law on loitering for the purposes of prostitution…recent loitering complaints noted that defendants were wearing “black cowboy boots” and “light blue short [sic], a red tank top and tan sandals”…

See also “Business As Usual” below.

Rescued To Death (#869)

“Abatement”.  A term used for inhuman things, especially nuisances:

A new unit that San Francisco police created to [harass sex workers]…is facing opposition from advocates…the Sex Workers Abatement Unit…has resulted in an uptick in the number of sex workers who have been arrested in the Mission…[and reinforces] a hostile environment where “women are forced into more isolated, unfamiliar areas where attacks are more likely…sex workers who are victims of violence are intimidated and running from police,” [Rachel] West [of US PROS] said.  West argued that the unit undermines a police policy from last December that [supposedly] prevents sex workers who are the victims of certain crimes from being arrested for performing sex work.  The policy [gives lip service to the fact] that “the criminalization of sex work is one of the primary barriers to reporting violence to law enforcement”…

I’ve spoken out against these hollow “policies” before; they are not binding and can be reversed as easily as they were granted.  They’re not a serious effort to respond to sex workers’ concerns; they’re just meant to shut us up.

Business As Usual (#895)

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

Mariatu was 15 years old when her widowed mother died and she ended up sleeping rough on the streets of Freetown where she fell into commercial sex work.  Not long after, she was arrested for “loitering” and, unable to pay a police bribe, spent six months in an adult jail.  Now 22, she is desperate to escape a life marked by suffering, violence and exploitation and is appealing to the state to provide more support to Sierra Leone’s sex workers who are stigmatised by society and suffer unfair treatment at the hands of the legal system.  She spoke to the Guardian before the online launch of a documentary to mark the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers which…examines their treatment by [cops]…who…exploit…them for sex and money…

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Diary #442

Lorelei and I don’t get to do our Who nights as a regular thing any more, which means y’all don’t get to see lovely pics of us together as often as you used to.  But when a lucky gentleman decides to see us together, that’s different (and if you’d like to enjoy the Rivers & McNeill experience yourself, please visit my escort website and let me know)!  The last couple of weeks have been quite hectic, what with holiday preparations (including the annual toy drive I concluded last week) and end-of-year stuff, but I’m hoping to finish everything up before Saturday so I can relax a bit through the rest of the holidays.  I’m not in a position to enjoy a twelve-day holiday as our ancestors did, but I’m going to try to get as close as possible.

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I’ve been asked to signal boost two messages for sex workers from organizations in our community, both of which provide opportunities to help yourself and other sex workers at the same time.  The first is about an essay contest from the ad website Slixa:

The passage of SESTA/FOSTA earlier this year…threatens the safety and livelihood of providers all across the world.  In an effort to gauge the impact of this law and how targeted communities might be helped, Slixa is announcing a call for essay submissions about the impact of SESTA/FOSTA, and a $10,000 USD total prize to be shared with the winning entrants and advocacy organizations of their choosing…in an effort to call extra attention to the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (December 17th), submissions will be open [today], December 14th, 2018, and we are looking for voices like yours to help us raise awareness, both of the International Day and of the profoundly negative impact of SESTA/FOSTA on our community.  You can find details about the call for entries here, and information about Slixa here

The other is from the ever-awesome SWOP Behind Bars, who has made a deal to supply inexpensive cell phone service that also helps SWOP in its important mission to support incarcerated sex workers!

Our Solidarity Network lets you choose the premium network that is best for your area!  It’s the exact same networks as the “big” providers but for a lot less!

    • Bring your current phone or get a great deal on a new phone!
    • No contract and you can leave any time.
    • Unlimited talk, text, and data.on America’s fastest unlimited network.
    • Taxes & fees included.
    • No surprise fees on your monthly plan bill.
    • Texting & data abroad.
    • Unlimited in Mexico & Canada.

The Solidarity Network lets YOU be in charge of your mobile service! BRING YOUR OWN PHONE or choose from a wide variety of phones on sale at Great prices!

Click here to find out more!

I’m not planning to make a habit of promoting projects in this manner, but a chance for a sex worker to win a cash prize and an easy way for us to help less fortunate sisters are both very good reasons to make an exception!

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Diary #441

Today is the very last day of my annual Toys for Tots special; you can still claim it if you book and pay today, even if we can’t manage an actual meeting today (which we almost certainly won’t, since I’ve got several things to do).  This year I got over $1000 in cash donations and several toy donations; I’ve already made two drops at the collection center and plan to make my final one tonight (unless I get any last-minute donations, in which case the local coordinator assures me we can squeak them in tomorrow or the next day).  I really enjoy doing this drive every year, and I’m happy to help children in need; however, like so many good things it’s very energy-intensive, so I’m rather glad the program-imposed deadline is two weeks before Christmas Day.  That gives them time to organize distribution, and me time to finish the rest of my own Christmas shopping and other preparations.  As usual, you’ll notice my blog schedule bounce around a little over the holidays, but it’ll be back to normal by the end of the second week of January; meanwhile, I’m going out to Sunset a few days before Christmas, so if you want to schedule during the holidays you need to either be flexible or contact me well in advance (preferably both).  Because the thing I want most for Christmas is some much-needed rest.

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Melissa Mariposa is an escort and owner of Red Umbrella Hosting; she has also established and improved several other sites to help other sex workers, since our options have been steadily shrinking due to the war on whores.  I asked her to write an introduction to these sites because I’ve seen too many shady operators attempting to capitalize on the panic the US government has intentionally sown in our community.

As someone with an IT background, I knew as soon as FOSTA-SESTA passed that our web presence was in trouble.  Many mainstream web hosts have officially prohibited sex work related content while actually looking the other way, but I thought this might cause a shift towards enforcing those policies — as under FOSTA-SESTA, they become liable for that content.  Without hesitation, I cancelled my next 2 tours, acquired an offshore server, and was up and running before the weekend.  I spent most of my spring both migrating and rebuilding sites from the Internet Archive for those that had lost their free sites without warning, and as I was plugging away, I started to notice a change in ad sites.  EROS was making huge policy changes but staying silent (remember they had been raided six months prior by DHS and which we still do not know what is going on), TER had excluded US providers entirely, P411 was announcing “upcoming changes”.  It seemed our ad market was slowly folding one site at a time.

Then Backpage happened; they operated flagrantly with their servers in Arizona and we all paid the price.  While having an offshore setup does not make you immune in itself, there are definitely ways to maintain anonymity — otherwise  Pirate Bay would not have an almost 20 year running time.   There is a right way to do things, and Backpage did not do it.  At all.  And what I’ve since discovered (to my horror) is that none of the big ad sites in our industry were following the path laid out by internet pirates before us; no one is following best practices for a grey market site.  Not one site.  Most of them are hosted in the US, or they use Cloudflare which is a service that is in no way safe for sex workers.  The most well known escort ad sites grossed in the millions; Backpage made $135 million in 2014 alone, and sites like P411, TER, and EROS are also unquestionably in the 7 figure club.  I naively thought that these multimillion dollar businesses that get so much from us at the very least had a qualified IT person who understood the nature of what they were doing; I was wrong — and in retrospect, I was really fucking stupid to think that.  This was a sharp reminder of what I already knew:  No one is here for us, they’re here to make money off of us.  Sex workers aren’t exploited by our clients, we’re exploited by these sites, and some of the worst actors in this industry have been owners of some of the highest grossing sites.  Why do we put our money in the pockets of pimps and panderers?  Because they make us feel like we have to.  They aggregate false ads from our real ads on other sites, draw our clients in, we think that’s where clients like to look, so we make ads there and give them our money.

So I started looking around for legitimately offshore provider-run ad sites.  I was tired of putting my money in the hands of opportunistic dudebros, people who wanted to make a fast buck and should have known better, but didn’t.  I want to put my money in the hands of qualified women in IT who know our industry, know security, and who work to help us.  What I found was Have We Met, which had been around since 2016 (I was a beta tester, as I love the concept) but with strict policies that hindered them in the pre-FOSTA market.  I decided to reach out the owners (a provider and her partner) and they took me on as a silent partner.  I started implementing small changes to policy and pricing, and after a few months they asked if I would be interested in acquiring ownership of the site.  I happily accepted, and after some restructuring, Have We Met became what it is today:  A place where a provider can create a profile with their stats, website, and photos, and list themselves for free in up to 20 areas.  They can also write one single ad which is automatically listed in whatever areas they choose to list their profile; so if you’re touring 10 cities, you just add those cities to your profile, set up your ad, and the ad is automatically listed in those 10 cities when a client searches for providers — no expiration date.  Have We Met isn’t just an ad site — there is also a dual sided verification feature.  The provider and the client  are both asked eight basic, non-intrusive, non-sexual questions about the encounter involving subjects like punctuality, safety, and hygiene.  This is a checkbox only system with no room for textual fantasies of illegal activity.   After the verification is complete, it shows up on the provider’s profile to show future clients that others have found her to be clean, safe, reputable, and pleasant to be around.  Clients can pay a small fee to show verifications on their profile.  The questions clients are asked seem more helpful than what a simple “whitelisting” or “okay” provides, and I also felt this would provide a nice alternative to reviews whilst providing the assurance clients seek from them.  A “review” on the legal exchange of time for money and nothing more.  Verification without incrimination.

Meanwhile, I decided to also build a simpler site, something familiar which everyone knew the feel of, which could be completely managed from a smartphone because I know a lot of providers who don’t use computers anymore except to advertise.  So SWAN was born:  A familiar-feeling classified system where everything from searching to ad building can be done from the tiny computer in your pocket.  Ads are free, and all upgrades are under $10 (and you just so happen to get $10 credit free when you sign up for the site).  Like Red Umbrella Hosting, these sites require no ID to advertise and take no personal information to get started; they both offer free advertising, with optional paid upgrades with three methods of anonymous payment: physical gift card, crypto, and money order via mail.  I do not wish to tie your work life to your real life in any way; I don’t want your drivers license or pictures of your face with your work name written on it.  Those measures, used by other sites, are overly intrusive and unnecessary.  I have tried to approach building these sites from the angle of, “What do I as a provider want?” as well as asking others.  I welcome all feedback — positive and negative — on all of my offerings so I can continuously improve them.  I want to make tools that people want.

When FOSTA-SESTA hit, some of the popular blacklists began “cleaning up” entries that had titles such as “rape”, changing them to “bad date”.  In fear that we would no longer have an unadulterated blacklist, I set up OurList; I also have a site launching this week called Relax With Me, which you’ll just have to wait and see about (I will tell you that it involves advertising and another non-vulgar alternative to traditional reviews, and will also be free for providers).  Coming up in 2019 there are two large projects on the horizon for my company Trystworthy; Michael Fattorosi has speculated that within the next year our social media options will be gone, and I agree.  So I have been working with another developer on how to best start and implement a new social platform (NOT Mastadon) and am hoping to open something by the end of the first quarter at the latest.  The other project is completely under wraps for now, but you should be hearing something soon; it’s completely different and totally unrelated to any other offering I have and I am beyond excited.  My goal going forward is that I want to continue to offer useful tools to providers in this industry affordably, reliably, and transparently; all sites I build are fully functional for providers without a single dollar invested, and optional upgrades are exactly that:  Optional.  Advertising should not be your biggest overhead, a headache, or something you dread thinking about; it should be the easiest part of your job, and that’s what I am striving to do.   These sites are labors of love for an industry that has given me my entire life.  Building tools for the future is the best way I feel I can “give back”, and I will continue working towards this goal for as long as I draw breath.

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It’s gonna be a lot of fun beating the hell out of these shitheads once the sun goes down and nobody can tell us apart.  –  “Officer” Dustin Boone

I’ve never heard of this composer, either, but his (sadly, very small) body of work definitely needs greater exposure.  The article from which I pulled the video was called to my attention by Jesse Walker, and the links above the video were provided by Patrick NonwhitePopehatTim CushingScott GreenfieldMarijke Vonk, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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